There’s a town in Burma that almost nobody has ever heard of. The weird thing is, it’s their capital.
The Burmese government announced 10 years ago that the new capital would move from Yangon to Naypyidaw. There wasn’t any further explanation given and it seems strange since nobody seemed familiar with Naypyidaw.
The country of Burma is located in Southeast Asia, bordering five countries. The Burmese military regime is considered to be one of the world’s most repressive.
Since moving the capital, foreign journalists have not received an invitation to Naypyidaw and it’s been essentially closed off to westerners.
It’s especially strange considering that Naypyidaw took millions to build and is six times larger than New York City.
Although it was built to house over a million people, this metropolitan city is largely vacant.
On an average day, only a few government and civil workers can be seen in the city.
When The Guardian covered the city, they described it as “an eerie picture of post-apocalypse suburban America; like a David Lynch film on location in North Korea.”
The city was mainly built for government staff, but Burma is a very poor country and the capital is one of the only areas where there is work to be found.
The city was built in the middle of an unsettled jungle and although the restaurants and hotels are completely empty, there’s wi-fi everywhere.
The streets are built for 20 lanes of traffic, but the boulevards are almost completely empty.
There have been reports that Burma contracted technicians from North Korea to build an undisclosed network of tunnels.
Much of Naypyidaw’s history remains shrouded in secrecy. It’s not clear when construction began or what happened to the now defunct neighboring villages
Despite the plethora of hotels, foreign aid workers refuse to stay in the creepy city and opt to commute in from Yangon, the old capital.